I Attempt to make the Birthday Boy Smile

If you talk to the cyclist today, wish him a happy birthday. He's already had one brother call this morning and forget.
He doesn't have the best birthday track record. There was the year when his work brought in a birthday lunch. He ordered his usual smothered bean and cheese burrito from Cafe Rio (he is a vegetarian, you know). Someone goofed and his was chicken. So he tried to calm his hunger pangs with a bite of licorice (I think it was a red vine). That's when his tooth chipped. He called the dentist and spent a good part of that afternoon getting a root canal. At that point, he knew his day was shot, so he went and stood in line at the DMV to get his drivers license renewed.No one should look this hopeless on their birthday.

This year didn't look promising. He got a jury summons in the mail last week. He was told to report on Monday, June 30th at 7:40 a.m. Luckily, his case was dismissed.
He's at work now and he will spend the evening at the girls swim meet.
Cross your fingers everyone.
Hey babe, Here's hoping today doesn't suck! There will be hot cookies waiting for you at home!

The Cyclist's Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t almond
2 large eggs

Combine flour, soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, sugars and extracts in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Chill dough thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 375. Roll dough into balls. Dip in cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake on un-greased cookie sheets for 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Two Fruity Sweet Rolls


1 (1/4 ounce) package yeast (2 1/4 t)
1/4 cup warm water

1 cup warm milk

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 1/2 cups flour plus more for kneading

Combine yeast and water in small bowl. Stir to dissolve. In bowl of mixer, mix milk, shortening, sugar, salt, and egg. Add yeast mix; blend well. Mix in flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 7 minutes.
Spray a bowl with cooking spray. Put dough in bowl and turn to grease top.
Cover with dish towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down; divide in half.
Roll each into a 15x10 rectangle.

Orange Filling

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened

1 T orange zest

Stir until well combined.

Raspberry Filling

1/2 cup raspberry pie filling


8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

Beat together until light and fluffy. Split in half. To orange roll frosting, add:

1 T orange zest
2-3 T orange juice

To raspberry roll frosting, add:

1 t vanilla

Spread orange filling on one rectangle, spread raspberry filling on other rectangle. Roll up length wise. Cut each log into 15 rolls. Put rolls on well greased cookie sheets (a silpat works great for these).
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 375* for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned.
Frost rolls while warm.

All you have to do is call around 9 and there is a good chance you will get an invite for brunch.

Fudgy Brownies

Why make brownies from a mix, when homemade are so simple? Add some unsweetened chocolate to your pantry. The rest of the ingredients are probably on hand.

3/4 c butter
3 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 c sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 c + 2 T flour

Melt butter and chocolate together in saucepan. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Bake in greased 8" x12" pan for 18-20 minutes at 350*.

This recipe can also make 24 mini brownie muffins. Scoop batter evenly in mini muffin pan and cook 12-15 minutes.

Try not to eat them all. They are even better the next day.

Post Pregnancy Guest Blog

The least i could do for Megan after giving birth to her fourth daughter and coming home and mowing the lawn the next day is to make her breakfast on Sunday.
We didn't have any pancake mix and we have cereal every other meal as it is, so i made pancakes.
I got to thinking that the name "pancakes" is just a "cake" made in a "pan". I pulled out some Betty Crocker french vanilla cake mix and made as the box directed and then cooked them on the griddle. I had to turn the heat all the way down to 200 degrees for them to cook evenly but they were good. Almost like we were eating cake for breakfast. That is generally our goal here.
We did use syrup and fresh fruit instead of frosting, but i was tempted just to make up some frosting for them. I am used to carbo-loading for big rides and races so i have a tendency to over do it a little bit.

the cyclist

Father's Day French Toast

There is no real recipe for this one. The cyclist just had an idea.
We turned some cinnamon rolls (and orange rolls) into French toast.
Bake rolls. Let cool. Slice in half horizontally. Dip in egg/milk mixture. Cook on a hot griddle.
We served with syrup, the icing from the package, berries and powdered sugar.

This was an experiment (success!) but next time, we might use homemade cinnamon rolls.

Blueberry French Toast

12 slices texas toast, cut into cubes
8 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 cup fresh blueberries (or 16 oz frozen)
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup maple syrup

Put half of bread cubes in greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Scatter cream cheese over bread. Cover evenly with blueberries. Add remaining bread cubes. Combine eggs, milk and syrup. Mix well. Pour over bread mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate over night. In the morning, heat oven to 350. Place covered dish in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes until set.

Blueberry Sauce

1 cup sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup blueberries
1 T butter

Combine sugar, cornstarch and water in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thick. Add berries. Simmer 1o minutes. Add butter. Serve warm over French Toast.

This was way too much for our big eating little family. Next time we will half the recipe or invite guests over for brunch. We are accepting applications.

Rolo Cookies

My sister gave me a cute cookie jar for my birthday this year. I feel obligated to keep it full of homemade cookies.

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup cocoa

2 3/4 cup flour

Rolos (about 60)

Cream sugars and butter together until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
Add dry ingredients and blend.
For each cookie, shape about 1 Tbs. of dough around a Rolo, covering it completely.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 7-8 minutes at 375° or until they start to crack.
Makes about 5 dozen.

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

The filling ends up tasting like a fudgy brownie. This is a great dessert for a hot summer night!
I made another one using mint ice cream sandwiches and grasshopper cookies. That was really good too.

adapted from food & family

1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed, divided
1 pkg. (4-serving size) instant chocolate pudding
8 Oreo Cookies, chopped (about 1 cup)
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped (I found cookies and cream ice cream sandwiches; yum!)

Pour fudge topping into medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the whipped topping; stir with wire whisk until well blended. Add dry pudding mix; stir 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in chopped cookies; set aside.
Arrange 4 of the ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on 24-inch-long piece of foil; top with half of the whipped topping mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining 4 ice cream sandwiches. Frost top and sides of dessert with remaining whipped topping. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet.
Freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Store leftover dessert in freezer.

Coconut Almond Macaroons

Coconut Almond Macaroons
adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook

2/3 cup flour
5 cups shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
¼ teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350*.
Grease cookie sheet.
Mix flour, coconut, almonds and salt together in a bowl. Pour in condensed milk and extracts. Stir well to combine (dough will be very stiff). Use small cookie scoop to drop cookies on sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire racks.

Banana Bundt Cake

2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 box white cake mix
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
3 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup sour cream
2 T vegetable oil
1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in bowl of mixer. Beat together until light and fluffy. Bake in greased Bundt pan for 40-50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Invert and cool on wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar to serve.